Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 11:30:16 -0600 From: Bruce Mills <> Subject: Murrin and his lawyer plan 'slew' of lawsuits September 3, 2001 Murrin and his lawyer plan 'slew' of lawsuits Wrongful conviction Chuck Poulsen The Canadian Press KELOWNA, B.C. - Shannon Murrin, the man acquitted last year of the murder of Mindy Tran, will file suit against the RCMP and "a slew" of others, his lawyer said on Saturday. Paul McMurray, Mr. Murrin's Vancouver lawyer, said several individuals will be named in the suit. Mr. Murrin, who now lives in Newfoundland, was charged with Tran's 1994 murder but was acquitted last year. The body of the eight-year-old Kelowna girl, who had been strangled, was found in a local park. Mr. Murrin said in a phone interview that he has left the timing of the suit up to Mr. McMurray. "I'm in terrific hands," said Mr. Murrin. "My lawyers have proven to me what kind of lawyers they are. "These things take time. You have to have your bases covered. It's like a boxer, training and learning before he gets into the ring." Mr. Murrin said he has fallen on hard times financially but he has almost completed writing a book about his experiences. "I'm writing every day and trying to make a few dollars working on cars but it's tough," said Mr. Murrin. Winston Ruby of ESP Press Ltd. in Portugal Cove, Nfld. confirmed on Saturday that his company is planning to publish the manuscript. A recently released report on the Tran investigation found fault with the Kelowna RCMP's handling of the matter. The report, by RCMP Insp. Ray Ambler, said the case against Mr. Murrin fell apart because of flaws in the investigation. "The downfall of this case was the integrity of the investigation," said Insp. Ambler. "There were a few whose bad judgment, loss of objectivity and a failure to live up to one's duty as a member of the RCMP contributed to the downfall of this file." The report said that now-retired Sgt. Gary Tidsbury, lead investigator in the Tran case, should have stepped down after three men attempted to beat a confession out of Mr. Murrin in 1996. Court was told Sgt. Tidsbury encouraged the beating, a claim Sgt. Tidsbury has denied. "The prosecutor could not overcome the shadow of suspicion these events [the beating] would cast over the murder trial," wrote Insp. Ambler. "The integrity and credibility of the police investigation centered on this event. Does the lead investigator need to be replaced to ensure the integrity of the investigation? They [management] failed to ensure the integrity of the investigation by dealing quickly and decisively with the issues that the beating raised." Current Kelowna RCMP Supt. Don Harrison admitted the Tran investigation "clearly had deficiencies," but added changes have been made in procedures since then. The Ambler report, released under the Freedom of Information Act, was heavily edited by the Freedom of Information commissioner. The report contained 23 recommendations, all of which Supt. Harrison said have been implemented. However, none of the recommendations were released. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is attempting to have the recommendations made public.